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LU Falters on the Road at Coastal Carolina

November 13, 2010  Conway, S.C.  RSS
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LU Falters on the Road at Coastal Carolina

Coastal Carolina scored on all six of its first half drives and withstood a late charge from No. 12/11 Liberty, en route to a 45-31, key Big South victory, Saturday afternoon at Brooks Stadium.

With the loss, Liberty falls to 7-3 on the season and 4-1 in Big South action. Coastal Carolina evens its overall record at 5-5 on the year and is now tied with the Flames at 4-1 in conference action. Both programs trail Big South leader Stony Brook, who moved to 5-0 in conference play with a convincing 55-3 victory over Gardner-Webb at home, earlier today.

For the third-straight game, Liberty scored on its opening possession, as the Flames jumped out to a 7-0 lead at 10:51, following a 33-yard touchdown burst by SirChauncey Holloway. The sophomore's longest run of the season and the second longest of his career was keyed by a block downfield by wide receiver Chris Summers.

The 10-play, 71-yard scoring drive saw the Flames pick up two lengthy third-down conversions to keep their effort alive. The first was a 10-yard scramble by quarterback Mike Brown and the second was an 11-yard pass play from Brown to B.J. Hayes over the middle of the field.

The Chanticleers answered right back, as Justin Durham completed a seven-play, 38-yard drive with a career-long 46-yard field goal at 9:39 to pull Coastal Carolina within four points, 7-3. The Chanticleers attempted to keep the drive alive by going for it on a fourth-and-inches play at the 25-yard line, but were penalized for a false start.

After the Flames were forced to punt the ball away for the first time on the afternoon, Coastal Carolina mounted its own lengthy scoring drive.

The Flames looked like they might force a three-and-out series, as Zach MacDowall got flushed from the pocket on a third-and-11 play. But, the senior was able to scramble and connect downfield on a 42-yard pass play to Brandon Whitley.

Seven plays later, MacDowall found Matt Hazel open in the corner of the end zone for the score. The freshman just got his foot down in bounds for an 11-yard touchdown reception. The TD strike capped off a 10-play, 72-yard drive and gave Coastal Carolina a 10-7 edge.

On the ensuing kickoff, Hayes was struck by Chanticleer Anthony Frye, forcing a loose ball which was recovered by LaDarius Hawthorne at the 25-yard line. Five plays later, MacDowall and Hazel hooked up again this time for eight yards, pushing Coastal Carolina's advantage to 17-7 with 2:33 left to play in the opening quarter.

Following a second-straight three-and-out series by the Flames, the homestanding Chanticleers pieced together their second 70-yard drive of the game.

The Flames looked like they might have had Coastal Carolina stopped on a third-and-five play as MacDowall's attempted pass to Whitely fell incomplete.

However, Liberty was called for pass interference, giving Coastal Carolina a new set of downs, allowing Ed O'Neal to score on a two-yard run with 12:31 left in the second quarter to push Coastal Carolina's lead to 24-14.

The Flames answered right back, as Liberty used a hurry-up attack to quickly move the ball downfield 68 yards. The ninth and final play of the drive was a 17-yard touchdown strike to Kyle DeArmon. The receiver caught the ball over the middle of the field, broke a tackle and just got the nose of the football over the goal line to pull the Flames back within 10 points at 24-14.

The back-and-forth scoring battle continued. Coastal Carolina marched down the field in just under three minutes to score on its next drive, pushing its lead to 31-14 with 7:04 left in the first half. The eighth and final play of the drive was a one-yard quarterback sneak of the middle by MacDowall.

The Flames tried to keep pace with Coastal Carolina and managed to get to the Chanticleer's 20-yard line on their next possession. However, a 10-yard sack and a fourth first-half penalty pushed Liberty back to its own 35-yard line. Matt Bevins connected on a career-long 52-yard field goal to make it, 24-17.

The momentum shift was short lived for the Flames, as Coastal Carolina once again marched down the field to score their fifth touchdown of the afternoon, taking a 38-17 lead with just eight ticks left on the clock.
On the 11th play of the 85-yard scoring march, MacDowall found Hazel open once again for his second 11-yard receiving touchdown of the contest and his third score of the opening half.

The Flames, who came into the game ranked No. 11 nationally by giving up an average of 288.44 yards per game, allowed Coastal Carolina to finish the first 30 minutes of the game with 364 total offensive yards on 49 plays. Conversely, Liberty, which ranked No. 5 nationally by averaging 454.11 yards per game, was limited to 170 yards on 33 plays.

Brown finished the opening half 12-of-21 on passing attempts for 103 yards and a touchdown, while Holloway led the rushing attack with five carries for 37 yards and his scoring run.

MacDowall completed 20-of-27 passing attempts for 290 yards and three scores, all coming to Hazel, who caught four passes for 41 yards.

Whitley was Coastal Carolina's top receiver with six catches for 81 yards. O'Neal led Coastal Carolina's rushing effort with 11 carries for 52 yards.

Liberty's defense was able to make some halftime adjustments and kept the Flames in the contest by limiting Coastal Carolina to just 177 second-half total offensive yards.

The Chanticleers looked like they might widen their 21-point halftime edge on two different occasions during the third quarter. However, Durham missed two field goals, keeping the score the same. The first was a 29-yarder which he missed wide left and the second was a lengthy 46-yarder that he pushed to wide to the right.

The second miss gave the Flames the ball back at its own 29-yard line and from ther, Liberty was able to piece together a quick five-play, 71-yard drive. Brown completed both his passing attempts and carried the ball the other three times, including a one-yard run off tackle for a touchdown with 55 seconds left in the third quarter.

The Flames defense was able to halt Coastal Carolina again on the next drive and Liberty took over at its own 33-yard line with just under 12 minutes to play. Liberty charged downfield and managed to get to the one-yard line, before a penalty and two incomplete passes gave Coastal Carolina the ball back.

The Chanticleers kept the ball on the ground for six of their next seven plays, including a 16-yard burst up the middle by Racheed Gause for a score with 2:54 left to seal the victory.

Liberty did manage to score on the ensuing drive. Brown found Summers in the end zone on an 80-yard pass just a minute later. Liberty followed by trying an on-side kick, but could not recover and the Chanticleers were able to wind down the clock for the 14-point victory.

For the 10th game in row, Brown threw for 200 or more yards, as the junior completed 21-of-39 passing attempts for 274 yards and two touchdowns. Brown's No. 1 target was Summers, who caught seven passes for 127 yards and caught his nation-leading 15th touchdown of the year.

Holloway led Liberty's rushing attack, carrying the ball 12 times for 72 yards, while Brown rushed 11 times for 71 yards. Both players found the end zone on the ground.

MacDowall threw for a Coastal Carolina program record 382 yards, completing 25-of-37 pass attempts and three scores. Ten different Chanticleer receivers caught passes, led by Whitley, who finished with eight receptions for 144.

O'Neal carried the ball 24 times for Coastal Carolina, rushing for 102 yards to become the second opponent this season to rush for more than 100 yards in a game against the Flames.

For the sixth time in the last eight games, Kyle O'Donnell led the Flames in tackles, tying for team-high honors with Chad Brown. Both defenders finished the contest with eight stops for the Flames. Larry Claiborne followed with a career-high seven solo tackles.

Josh Norman was Coastal Carolina's top defender, finishing the game with 12 stops, followed by six tackles for Brian Sanders and Marcus Lott.

The Flames will return home for Senior Day next Saturday, when they host Big South leader Stony Brook at Williams Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 3:30 p.m., in a game that will determine this year's Big South champion and the winner of the league's first-ever automatic bid to the NCAA FCS Playoffs.

In order for the Flames to win the postseason berth, Liberty will have to defeat Stony Brook and have Charleston Southern upend Coastal Carolina. The Buccaneers will be visiting Brooks Stadium next weekend for a 1 p.m. kickoff in Conway, S.C.